You Shook Me All Night Long

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"You Shook Me All Night Long"
YouShookMeAllNightLong.jpg
Single by AC/DC
from the album Back in Black and Who Made Who
B-side"Have a Drink on Me"
Released19 August 1980
Recorded1980
GenreHard rock
Length3:32
LabelAtlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
AC/DC singles chronology
"Touch Too Much"
(1980)
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
(1980)
"Hells Bells"
(1980)
Alternative cover
1986 re-release
1986 re-release
Music video
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
"You Shook Me All Night Long" (Who Made Who)
on YouTube

"You Shook Me All Night Long" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, from the album Back in Black. The song also reappeared on their later album Who Made Who. It is AC/DC's first single with Brian Johnson as the lead singer, replacing Bon Scott who officially died of alcohol poisoning in February 1980, though there have been allegations he succumbed to a drug overdose combined with alcohol. It reached number 35 on the USA's Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1980. The single was re-released internationally in 1986, following the release of the album Who Made Who. The re-released single in 1986 contains the B-side(s): B1. "She's Got Balls" (Live, Bondi Lifesaver '77); B2. "You Shook Me All Night Long" (Live '83 – 12-inch maxi-single only).

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "You Shook Me All Night Long" was ranked number 63.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

"You Shook Me All Night Long" placed at number 10 on VH1's list of "The 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s". It was also number 1 on VH1's "Top Ten AC/DC Songs". Guitar World placed "You Shook Me All Night Long" at number 80 on their "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" list.

Rock critic Robert Christgau regarded it as a "drum-hooked fucksong" and the band's "only great work of art".[2]

Live versions[edit]

The song has also become a staple of AC/DC concerts, and is rarely excluded from the setlist.[3]

Four live versions of the song were officially released. The first one appeared on the 1986 maxi-single "You Shook Me All Night Long"; the second one was included on the band's album Live; the third version is on the soundtrack to the Howard Stern movie Private Parts, and also appears on the AC/DC box set Backtracks; and the fourth one is on the band's live album, Live at River Plate.[citation needed]

"You Shook Me All Night Long" was also the second song to be played by AC/DC on Saturday Night Live in 2000, following their performance of "Stiff Upper Lip."[4] When AC/DC was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, they performed this song with Tyler.[5]

Johnson performed the song with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in New York, US in March 2014. The Salon publication stated on the following morning in its introduction to the video footage of the performance: "This will either be your favorite video today, or a total musical nightmare!"[6]

Composition[edit]

The song is in the key of G major. The main verse and riff follows a GCD chord progression.[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

There have been several claims made over decades that (at least) some parts of the lyrics to the song were written by Bon Scott.

Silver Smith, late former girlfriend of Bon Scott, interviewed by Jesse Fink for his biography of Scott, Bon: The Last Highway, said: 'I know for sure that [the song] was written at [my flat in] Gloucester Road [in Kensington, London] back in ’76. "She told me to come but I was already there" – he wrote that in a letter to somebody, one of his grotty mates, just after we got together, actually. He always kept notebooks and added and subtracted to them and so on. He put in "American thighs" even way back then, because that was the market they were going to try and crack. So that was written a long time ago.’[7] In the same book, Scott's girlfriend in Miami, Florida, a woman under the pseudonym 'Holly X', says the original lyric 'chartreuse eyes' was changed to 'sightless eyes' and that she had a horse called Doubletime. The lyrics 'working double time on the seduction line' appear in the finished song.

Doug Thaler, Bon's friend and AC/DC's booking agent on their American tours, also says: 'I don’t care who tells me anything different: you can bet your life that Bon Scott wrote the lyrics to "You Shook Me All Night Long". It's Bon Scott's lyrics all over the place.'[7]

From AC/DC: Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be by Mick Wall: 'However Malcolm Dome claims that shortly before he died, Bon "shoved me his book of lyrics. He had sheets of lyrics that he kept in a file, carried them around. He’d been showing me some of the ideas he’d been working for Back in Black. Not the song 'Back in Black' but songs that were for the next album. There were a couple of lines, like, 'She told me to come but I was already there', which ended up in 'You Shook Me All Night Long' - that’s a Bon lyric. And I saw it. I saw it written down. There were lyrics, lines used, on Back in Black that Bon wrote. [But] he wasn’t credited and to this day no one’s really sure what happened. I don’t think he even got close to finishing the whole songs. But there are lines in there that I know.'

Malcolm Dome again in Classic Rock, August 2005, pg. 46: ‘Bon proudly showed me some of the scribbles he’d put down in preparation for an album he felt would define AC/DC - and open up new possibilities as well. It’s hard to be absolutely accurate from a distance of quarter of a century, and through the haze of alcohol which enveloped the night, but one line sticks in my mind as being on one of those sheets: "She told me to come, but I was already there." A renowned lyric from the song You Shook Me All Night Long, it has Bon's trademark all over it - a neatly worked double entendre that fits in with the track record of a man who wrote Big Balls, The Jack and other similarly styled songs.’[8]

Music video[edit]

There are two music videos.

The first is directed by Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler,[9] is similar to the other Back in Black videos ("Back in Black", "Hells Bells", "What Do You Do For Money Honey", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" and "Let Me Put My Love Into You") and is available on the special Back in Black, The Videos. It is also included on the Backtracks box set.[citation needed]

The second is directed by David Mallet[10] and released six years after the song's original release (when the song was reissued in Who Made Who). Angus and Malcolm Young follow Johnson around the English town of Huddersfield, with Angus Young wearing his signature schoolboy outfit. The video clip casts the English glamour model Corinne Russell, a former Hill's Angel and Page 3 Girl—along with other leather clad women wearing suits with zips at the groin region—pedaling exercise bicycles in the background.

The VH1 series Pop-Up Video revealed that, during the scene with the mechanical bull, the woman playing Johnson's lover accidentally jabbed herself with her spur twice. The roadie who came to her aid married her a year later, and Angus Young gave them a mechanical bull as a wedding present as a joke. In the original 1980 video Phil Rudd played drums, while the 1986 video showed Simon Wright, who replaced Rudd in 1983. Rudd returned to AC/DC in 1994.[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Year Chart Peak
position
1980 Australia (ARIA)[11] 8
France (SNEP)[12] 29
Irish Singles Chart[13] 19
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 38
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 35
West Germany (Official German Charts)[16] 29
1986 UK Singles (OCC)[17] 46
2012 Australia (ARIA)[11] 49
France (SNEP)[18] 124
UK Singles (OCC)[19] 42
2015 Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 5
2017 US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[21] 11

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[22] 42
Chart (2019) Position
Portugal (AFP)[23] 585

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[24] 5× Platinum 350,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[25] Gold 45,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[26] Gold 100,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[27] Platinum 50,000double-dagger
Mexico (AMPROFON)[28] 2× Platinum 120,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[30]
(Mastertone)
3× Platinum 3,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "AC/DC". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 067973015X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. ^ "AC/DC Tour Statistics". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  4. ^ "AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long - Live [NBC 2000]" (Audio upload). The Unofficial AC/DC Channel on YouTube. Google, Inc. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Steven Tyler inducts AC DC Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 2003" (Video upload). Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum on YouTube. Google, Inc. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ Angela450NYC (22 March 2014). "Must-see morning clip: Billy Joel and AC/DC's Brian Johnson perform "You Shook Me All Night Long" last night" (Video upload). Salon. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b Fink, Jesse (2018). Bon: The Last Highway (Revised ed.). Penguin Books Australia. ISBN 9780857988935.
  8. ^ Dome, Malcolm (August 2005). "Back in Black: The Lyrical Debate" (PDF). Classic Rock.
  9. ^ "– AC/DC – "You shook me (all night long) [version 1: 1980]"". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  10. ^ "– AC/DC – "You shook me (all night long) [version 2: 1986]"". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  11. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Irish Charts". Irishcharts.ie. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  15. ^ "AC/DC Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Lescharts.com – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker, vecka 28, 2015" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  21. ^ "AC/DC Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  22. ^ David Kent: Australian Chart Book
  23. ^ "Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  24. ^ "ARIA Australian Artists Singles Chart" (PDF). ARIA. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  25. ^ "Danish single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 2 April 2020. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2020 to obtain certification.
  26. ^ "French single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Italian single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 24 July 2021. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "You Shook Me All Night Long" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  28. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 10 October 2020. Type AC/DC in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and You Shook Me All Night Long in the box under TÍTULO
  29. ^ "British single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  30. ^ "American single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Slingshot – You Shook Me All Night Long". Slingshot at Discogs. Discogs. 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  32. ^ Jacobson, Colin (3 May 2006). "A Knight's Tale: Extended Edition (2001)". DVD Movie Guide. DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  33. ^ "Céline Dion;Anastacia - You Shook Me All Night Long" (Video upload). CelineDionVEVO. Google, Inc. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  34. ^ "Big and Rich Shake Up AC/DC". Spinner. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2013-06-29.